There are just some things to not say to someone who has anxiety.
Many people who don’t have anxiety try to say things that they think are helping others, but essentially it doesn’t. Many people are misguided and end up saying the wrong things to those who are suffering from anxiety. While it is not intentional for people to say the wrong things, it is important to learn to use the right words. It can without a doubt be difficult to support someone who has anxiety and you want to be there for that person. So in doing so, it's important to avoid a few things that you should never say to someone with anxiety. Even though your heart's in the right place, instructing them to "get over it" or telling them to "not worry" can do more harm than good. A person experiencing anxiety has observations and thought patterns that are broken and distorted. So here are some things to not say to someone who has anxiety.
1. “Just Get over It”
This is one of the biggest things to not say to someone who has anxiety. When someone's feeling anxiety, you might want to encourage them to "get over it." But stop and wonder for a second about why that wouldn't help the person. You would never say to someone with a broken leg, just walk on it. Yet, since we cannot particularly 'see' anxiety, it is difficult for people that have never gone through it to understand. You really can't "just get over it," that easily and quickly.
2. "It's All in Your Head"
In an effort to calm an anxious person's worry, you might also feel the urge to say, "it's all in your head." Many are unaware that anxiety feels very real, so this remark hardly ever comes off as intentional. Even though a person who suffers from anxiety has thinking patterns that can be unclear, in the midst of that moment, it is extremely hard for someone who has anxiety to see and understand that.
3. "You're Such a Weirdo"
Anxiety can make people do some things that are out of the ordinary, such as panic in public or avoid certain situations. It may be weird to observe, but you should never tell them that it’s strange. Anxiety can be hard to handle and can also feel overwhelming. Even if their behaviors may seem weird to you, it is important not to make them feel that they are crazy. That'll only make things worse for the person and not make them feel better about their situation.
4. "You Really Need to Calm down"
Even though you’re trying to make a person feel better by saying this, the remark can come off in a different way. Telling a person with anxiety to calm down is not sympathetic and suggests that they are choosing to have an anxiety disorder. If they had the capability to calm down, they would. They don’t choose to feel anxious or have anxiety.
5. "You Just Need to Push through It"
Another piece of advice that people impose on those with anxiety is "you just need to push through it”. It’s saying that what they have isn’t a big deal, when in fact it is. Even though you're trying to help the person, remember that someone with anxiety can’t just suddenly feel better. You can’t just turn off anxiety or ignore it, even though you’d like to. Forcing someone with an anxiety disorder to face their fears only serves to make things more chaotic. In addition, it's a pretty cold-blooded thing to say to someone who's suffering from a mental health issue.